The Love Lost Then Found

The Midwest Mother
Was frightened
As she read the mail
With dismay

Her little boy
Had been drafted
And was needed
Without delay

She feared for him
He said, “Mom, don’t cry for me
I will serve my country gladly
And make you proud, you’ll see.”

She heard from him in boot camp
Received letters every week
But once he got deployed
The frequency was bleak

Then came a knock
On her front door
She knew the news was bad
Her senses she could not ignore

They said he died in battle
And was lost in the night
He was trying to protect civilians
And was caught in a firefight.

Condolences they gave
And left her to grieve
She no longer had her son
It was hard to believe.

Folded flag on her lap
Purple Heart clutched in hand
She held her composure
Until the bagpipes began.

For years, her heart, it was broken
Then came another knock
Like before
A Vietnamese college student
At the door

He told her the story
Of the man
Who saved a child
He said, “It was your son,
And it was me.”
Then he smiled.

He gave her the tags
That hung around
Her sons neck
And a simple message
Her son said
To relay
With his last breathe

“Tell my Mom, I love her,
And it’s because of her
Who I am.
She taught me to think of others
No matter what the jam.”

“Your son he is a hero.
If not for him, I would not be.”
I promised I would find you
I told him, ” I will make you proud….
You’ll see.”


The Reluctant Angel

When I started this blog years ago, I fancied myself as a storyteller.

My imagination would run wild and I would create and post the results.

I got away from that….but am getting the itch again.

To help myself I am reposting some old stories.

I enjoy reading my own stuff….I hope you might as well.

Without further rambling here is “The Reluctant Angel part 1.

If you care to links are added to go to the continuation.

I hope you enjoy!


Angel Davis had no known enemies and almost as many friends, but he couldn’t shake the eerie feeling that he was being watched and distantly followed by the man in the oversized grey suit and the immaculately shined shoes.

The first time he saw him, the man was getting his shoes shined by the wide eyed young boy who hung on his every phrase and looked up at him as if he were some sort of messiah.

Angel remembers watching them as he passed with a strange fascination.

The old man looked up at Angel, mid shine, pulled out a pocket watch, clicked it open to view the face, closed it, placed it back in his jacket pocket, and tipped his fedora to him with a knowing yet wry smile.

Then, set his attention back on the boy who was preparing his vehicles of chosen transportation for the days journey.

Angel had forgotten about the occurrence, until he saw him again on his transit ride to work.

He always felt like it would be a good day when he actually got to sit in a seat, instead of holding on for dear life by standing in the aisle gripping the loop with both hands. Angel was able to hold on to that joy for 2 stops when the inevitable happened.

An older woman with a cane got on. There were no seats for her to sit in. Angel shifted his eyes, side to side, waiting to see if someone was willing to give up their seat.

As the barrage of newspapers began to lift, Angel shook his head and thought,

“selfish bastards”

and promptly asked the woman to take his seat.

He then grabbed the loop as the bus pressed forward. He glanced around just as the newspapers were dropping, revealing triumphant grins of satisfaction.

That’s when he saw him again.

He was sitting in an aisle seat, 8 rows back. Angel probably wouldn’t have even noticed him, except for the glare of the sun that caught his shined shoes, just as Angel began his look around.

The old man, looked up at Angel, mid glare, pulled out a pocket watch, clicked it open to view the face, closed it, placed it back in his jacket pocket, and tipped his fedora to him with a knowing yet wry smile.

The bus stopped at the next stop. Angel had to move and assist the woman with cane to get up and off the bus. As he helped her to the door, he looked back, hoping to get his seat back, just in time to see the business man who stood behind him sit in that very seat, adjust his suit and glare at him. He looked beyond the “it’s my seat now stare” and noticed the man in the grey suit was gone.

The next time he saw him, he was just keeping to himself, like he always did, eating an ice cream cone on a park bench. The old man was walking through the park as well. He sat on the bench directly opposite of Angel.

Angel had had enough of the following, but as he got up to approach the man with the immaculately shined shoes, he was suddenly surrounded by a group of people carrying their Bibles like shields that needed to ask him a few questions.

“Do you know The Lord, young man?”

“Let us teach you the word of God and improve your life!”

“We can save you and prepare you for his coming!”

As they bludgeoned him with their questions, Angel got a glimpse of the man on the opposite bench.

He had crossed his arms and seemed to take great delight in watching what was transpiring.

Angel took in a deep breathe and did what he had always wanted to do….he calmly but confidently answered their questions…..his way.

“I don’t believe in God.” He said as they looked at him with mouths gaped open.

“My child, you are destined for a life in purgatory without believing!” One if them said.

Angel replied,

“If I don’t believe in God…it wouldn’t make much sense to believe in hell…now would it!”

“Through prayer and his words in the good book we can make you a believer.” Another said.

Angel looked through a gap in the semicircle of believers that surrounded him. The man still sat there….intently listening.

Angel calmly looked at the questioner in the eye and answered.

“I have read the book. If you want to prove to me that there is a God. I have the only way.”

Angel reached into his pocket and pulled out a quarter. He looked at both the heads side and the tails side, then spoke.

“It says in the book, something like ask and you shall receive. Correct?”

They nodded yes.

“Ok. Then I will give you this quarter…..what I want you to do is pray long and hard…and ask that this quarter will turn up heads 50 times in a row after flipping it in the air. If it does…I will be a full and lifelong believer.”

The semicircle looked at the quarter and then each other and clamored for something to say.

“I come through this park around the same time, every Saturday. When you are as confident with your results as much as I am. Come find me.”

Angel then got up to leave. He looked over at the opposite bench.

It was empty, with no sign of the man in the grey suit anywhere.

He flipped the quarter up into air and watched it fall on to the ground in the center of the group. He glanced down at it and then back at them and said,

“There’s one…..only 49 more to go…”

He thought he heard the click of a pocket watch closing as he left the group to stare at the quarter, but chalked it up to wishful thinking.

As Angel walked the blocks that returned him to the solitude of his studio apartment, he got cornered by a group of teens, who apparently owned the stretch of sidewalk he was walking on.

“Hey homie…you can’t just walk on our turf” one yelled threateningly.

Angel replied,

“Look, I am just walking home, kid. I live 2 blocks down. It’s the shortest distance and I am taking it.”

The kid curled his brow, pulled out a revolver, pointed it at Angel’s chest and said,

“It’s the shortest distance to your death…you still wanna take it?”

Angel returned his stare, put his hands up and retreated,

“Nah…I’m good…I’ll just walk around.”

Not giving in that quickly the kid stated,

“Not until you pay me for trespassing, give me you…”

He was cut off by the sound of squealing tires. A dark 4 door car came down the street…fast.

As if in slow motion, the windows began to roll down. The barrels of a automatic rifle emerged, sighted on the group of teens.

Angel yelled,

“GET DOWN!” And pushed 2 of the teens off their balance and to the ground just as the sound of bullets began to fly.

Just as quickly as the 4 door came…it left with the same squeal of tires.

The teens began to get up and check themselves for injuries.

They each seemed to be unharmed.

Angel, remained motionless on the ground, paralysed and near death from 3 bullets in the center of his back.

The last thought that went through his mind before his last breathe exited his body was of the man in the immaculately shined shoes and the sound of his pocket watch closing.


“Time’s up.”

Part 2 begins here-

The Return To The Hookah Man

It has been over a year since I have returned from my journey to see the figure on top of the mountain. My life has changed. I am no longer the selfish being I once was. But I am more troubled now than before I went on my quest to find him.

It is because of these troubles that I am returning to see him in hopes of finding answers.

Reaching the 3 paths at the base of the mountain was much more difficult than the last time. The jungle surrounding had become overgrown, almost completely hiding the opening.

Faced with the same 3 choices as before….I chose differently this time.

I picked up the candle and headed into the mountain. With just this single light as my guide I weaved my way through the darkness. It was a difficult trek with many obstacles but my persistence and confidence carried my to the top where the temple awaited me.

Upon exiting the mountain, I walked up to the temple, sat Indian style in front of the Hookah Man and placed the remainder of the candle in front of me. As I looked up he began to speak.

“Seeking me a second time does not increase your chances for enlightenment. Taking the harder route to see me, does not increase your chances for enlightenment. Why take the journey when I have nothing else for you? Trying to fill the void before death?”

He exhaled a large plume of smoke with a smirk, and waited for my reply.

I obliged with more honesty than I knew I had in me.

“No. I accept my fate. I have changed my selfish ways but do not deny your truth. I am here to ask of others not of myself.”

“Very well. Ask. Then I will decide whether it deserves an answer.”

“Will there ever be an end to the horrendous violence that occurs?”
I asked.

“The human race and violence are like the wet part of the ocean…they go hand in hand. Look at the history of mankind…rarely is there a significant event without violence. Your question is too broad for a specific answer.” He flippantly answered.

“Ok……but the violence in our schools? Ever since Columbine it has gotten worse…now children in elementary schools are dying…”

“Columbine?? You do not know your history. The ripple of Columbine did not begin that wave.” He interjected.

“Ripple…wave….you lost me. I’m not a riddle guy.” I replied.

“Imbecile. A wave does not start out as a wave. It begins as a ripple that grows. …a pebble or small stone dropped into calm water creates a ripple that creates another and another, the farther the ripple carries the larger it gets, creating the wave that has to crash somewhere. The Columbine you speak of was a large ripple that created the wave that crashed in Connecticut. NOW your kind is fully aware. But the pebble that started the ripple was in Bath, Michigan in your year of 1929. Learn your history…your kind keeps repeating it.”
The Hookah Man retorted.

“So God is teaching is about guns by repeating history?” I confusingly asked

“God, government, guns, games, movies, laws….all symbols of blame for the human race. The ripple works for good as well….not just evil. Placing blame is easy….creating change is not. Look at another mark on your country…segregation. Tell me the ripple there.” He asked as he inhaled.

“That’s an easy one. Rosa Parks. She refused to sit at the back of the bus. She ignited change.” I confidently replied.

He smiled and exhaled…. Then spoke.

“You know the one who got the recognition….but she was not the first ripple…..the first was Irene Morgan in 1946, then Sarah Louise Keys in 1955, them Claudette Colvin nine months before Rosa Parks… pebble….3 ripples, then the wave crashed and created positive change. The change is not complete….even today in your world, but the ripple effect still grows. Know your history….your kind DOES learn from it.” He kindly answered.

I looked at him. Things were a bit clearer but the fog of his answers remained. He saw that in my gaze and added to his last statement.

“Your kind feeds off 2 things. Fear and change. You must be able to face the fear and create the change. Be the one who creates the ripple. If your effort is worthy, another will follow. And another. And another. Soon your small ripple will create the wave of change that will help to solve the problem.”

With that he reached into a small bag around his neck. He pulled something out of it and dropped it into my outstretched palm. He then placed his hands upon his lap and turned to stone.

I opened my palm and looked at the single pebble he placed into it.

I looked up at the stone figure, smiled, turned and made my way back down the mountain.

Sequel retrieved from the archives of good2begone

The Quest For The Hookah Man

Jaded. Bitter. Indifferent. Wronged.

That was what I felt on the day I decided to leave it all behind.

It took 9 mistakes for me to do 1 thing right. Nothing ever went my way.

Have to be at work by eight…get a flat tire at 7:45…

Favorite show comes on tv….transformer get hit, knocking out the power.

The list goes on. I couldn’t take it anymore.

All my life I had heard about “The Hookah Man”


Envisioned in different forms but basically the same principle. Find him and ask what the meaning of your life was, and the answer will be given.

My quest was to find him. I was done with the way things weren’t working our for me.

My belief was that he sat on top of a mountain, overseeing everything. He smoked off a hookah pipe, meditated, prayed, and waited for someone to come to partake in his knowledge.

I knew he was waiting for me. I went in search for him.

I searched every corner, angle, length, width and depth of our world I could find in my journey.

After what seemed like months, I came to a 3 pronged crossing at the base of a huge mountain.

Path A- led to a long rickety old rotted wood walkway around the mountain. At the top stood a temple.

Path B- led into the mountain. A small tea candle was at the entrance. I guessed that would be the light if I chose this path.

Path C- was the road I stood on. It led up the mountain on a gradual slope that also reached the temple.

Reasoning told me I might as well stay on the path that got me here. It ended up at the same place anyway. Up to the top of the mountain I went.

I reached my destination with little struggle. Inside the open temple was “The Hookah Man” exactly as I envisioned him.

I walked inside. He motioned me to sit in front of him. He took along pull from his hookah and said, “Speak of why you have searched high and low to find me.”

“Naturally, I only have one question. What is the meaning of my life?”

He scoffed at my question and shook his head. He paused to regain composure then answered.

“Your kind amazes me. You spend your time in the realm you have been given, and you spend it worrying about yourself. More money, more recognition, more me, poor me nothing ever good happens to me… Quick solutions to lengthy problems are the norm. Forget about the next guy, it’s what about me. The easy way is the only way”

He continued, ” You knew I was waiting for you. I knew you were coming. I always know when someone is coming. They always take the same route. 3 paths are given for a reason. The 2 you chose to disregard are paths to enlightenment. Each have difficulties in traveling but upon arrival here, the traveler is released of their selfish “me”
encompassing ways. Those 2 paths are never chosen. Fear of not reaching the goal of the temple wins out. You were no different. The answer to your question…..there is no meaning. You are born. You live. You die. The answer may have been different, but your selfishness will not allow any other.”

I reply rather stunned,” So that’s it? What kind of God are you? I come all this way and you give me I live then die?”

A long drag is taken off of the hookah. He exhaled and says,” You came here to ask one question. I gave you 1 answer. Had you taken one of the other paths to reach me, all your questions would have been answered. Even the ones you didn’t even know to ask. I have been here for centuries. I sit and wait for a being to enter my temple from the enlightened paths so I may pass along the vital information AND so I may be released to another realm. CENTURIES! I was the first of the selfish to come here. I will stay here until the unselfish one arrives to show ME the way to enlightenment. Your question is answered to the best of my ability. You may take the information I have given you to alter your destiny…or live then die. I have nothing more for you….”

He looked at me….through me…exhaled a large plume of smoke, and turned into stone.

I stood staring at the statue for a long while. Contemplating……pondering…..
Then slowly turned around and made my way back down the mountain.

From the archives of good2begone…..

The A May Zing

I wanted add to my-I am the greatest grandparent in the history of grandparentkind!!

So, this evening we took the 3 musketeers (ages 4, 4, and 2) out for pizza.

Then out for handmade ice cream.

Then home for new coloring books and coloring.

I should have a parade in my honor.

That is as long as the parade organizers ignore anything I say about the coloring incident…

It wasn’t my fault….


I had it all planned out.

I even bought myself an adult coloring book.

I’m a man….I ain’t coloring no paw patrol.

I went with this…..

Notice the $3 price tax…


Got it at the dollar store.

You realize….that I could have bought 3 separate things for a dollar, but, I opted to go big and spend ALL three dollars on 1 item.

Pretty amazing, huh.

Yeah…my wife tells me all the time how amazing I am.

Now you see why….

While I basking in my glory I decided I should by crayons as well….for me.

I’m a man, I ain’t sharing no crayons with a bunch of whiny kids.


64 crayons for a buck.

A May Zing.

And that was the start of my downfall without even knowing it.


All crayons are not the same.

And I found that out by losing my collective shit over the fact these crayons break by touching to the page.

My wife says it’s amazing that I’m so comfortable cursing and having a tantrum in front of the boys.

Maybe I’ll hold off on the parade….

The Maestro

Is it still considered magic

If you figured out the trick

Slight of hand is flawless

If you master the quick

A quarter from behind the ear

A rabbit from the top hat

Pick a card at random

Don’t show it put it back

Deception lies illusion

Reality or just a show

Magician or a medicine man

Seal the con time to go

Image from Pinterest

The Longing

How can I hear you

If the wind doesn’t blow

How can I see you 

If the sun doesn’t show

How can I taste you

If your lips are sealed

How can I touch you

When emotions are veiled

All I can do is smell you

Your fragrance envelopes my mind

It hurts me to sense

That life for you has been so unkind 

Image from stutterstock

The Dead Mall

Kneeling at the grave
Staring at carved stone

A beginning, an end, a name
Once a living being, now gone

Questions without replies
Situations that had no end

Uninvited memories
Only the living left to mend

The visits become sporadic
Grass is growing tall

The sight remains the same
New neighbors at the dead mall

Carrying on with the days
Time ticks with innuendo

The end is never known
But always has a short window

Image from unsplash